Do women of faith or women surveyed by a secular magazine express more fulfillment from spirituality?
By Julie Kathleen Schubring
A recent poll among the readers of the Ladies’ Home Journal produced a report in the July 2011 issue titled: “What Does it Take for a Woman to Feel Happy & Fulfilled?” I found a few of the responses surprising, and it prompted me to conduct my own quick informal survey among fellow active women faith leaders via Survey Monkey and Facebook.
The Ladies’ Home Journal survey was conducted among their target audience—women ages 18-65. I wanted to know if the magazine responses are similar among same-age women who are active participants in their faith tradition.
Two particular survey questions and answers stood out to me. The first question:
72% “Having the freedom to make the choices I want”
71% “Leading a life that has meaning”
The second question:
46% “very satisfied with their marriage or relationship”
45% “very satisfied with their spirituality”
25% “very satisfied with work life”
There seems to be a difference between being fulfilled in “religion/spirituality” and being satisfied with spirituality.
This prompted me to survey my family and friends. The demographics are similar to the Ladies’ Home Journal online panel of women, however the people I polled are ALL women of faith.
The first question I asked was:
The second question:
Women of faith find more fulfillment in their “religion/spirituality” but the same percentage of all women are very satisfied with spirituality. I had originally thought that active women of faith would have had a higher percentage of satisfaction with their spirituality than the general population. Therefore what is the difference between fulfillment and satisfaction when asking about religion/ spirituality? It is very unfortunate that we don’t have the meaning to “fulfillment” and “satisfaction.”
But I hope that this gives us something to ponder – Does our spirituality fulfill us in our daily lives? I hope that we all are able to be more than satisfied with our faith journey.
A student at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Julie Kathleen Schubring is currently serving as a summer intern at GCSRW. She is also a commissioned Bishop Handy Young Adult Missionary.